The United States is the only developed country that does not have compulsory health insurance. A fragmented system of public, private and non-profit sectors operates at the expense of a third party – insurance companies that mediate between patients and health care providers, monitor the appropriateness of prescriptions and pay for treatment. For 2019, these administrative costs alone were estimated at $ 496 billion, or 13.8% of total costs.
Many administrations in the United States have attempted to introduce a nationwide health care program that guaranteed access to health care for the entire population without exception, providing a reliable source of payment for health care services, as the dominant private insurance system was limited and left many Americans outside medical assistance.
The question of why the United States spends more than other countries on health care, while receiving a socially inadequate health care system, makes more than one generation of Americans, including politicians guess why it happens in such a way.
Various studies have shown that hospital costs in the United States are 60% higher than in Europe. Others also point out that prices are the main driver of the rise in health care costs in the United States. For example, the American expert Ashish Jha, physician, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, researcher of health systems in different countries, said: “What happened in 2003 remains the same today. The United States is no different from other developed countries in how much medical care we use. The difference is how much we pay for it.”
How do Americans pay for medical services?
There are several sources. Most Americans cover their medical expenses through personal insurance, which is often paid for in full or in part by their employer (these are so-called “workplace health plans”).
It is known that government health insurance programs, Medicare, which caters for senior citizens, for which employers and workers pay taxes during their working lives, and Medicaid, a health assistance program for the poor (or the poorest), are jointly funded. a federal state program that, together with the Child Health Insurance Program, provides health care to more than 72.5 million Americans, including children and parents, pregnant women, retirees, and people with disabilities.
It is the largest source of health insurance in the United States. Medicaid, in particular, provides state medical care and determines financial benefits for the poor living below the poverty line. In 2017, the threshold annual income (ie, the poverty line) for a family of four is $24,600, in 2014 it was $23,850.
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The cost of new technologies and prescription drugs is high. Some analysts argue that the availability of more expensive, modern medical technologies and drugs drives development spending, creating demand for intensive and expensive services. In 2013, the United States spent $1,026 per capita on pharmaceuticals and other short-term medical care.
Tags: finance, healthcare, healthcare system, USA